This week President Obama commuted the sentences of 214 serving hard time including several on gun charges. He explained his thought process on that when asked.
The total included no less than 56– some of which were serving life sentences– that were in prison on charges that included carrying illegal firearms.
To the President, when asked at a daily news conference, it all came down to whether they were using the firearms or not.
“There may have been a situation where a kid at 18, was a member of a gang, had a firearm, did not use it in the offense that he was charged in, there’s no evidence that he used it in any violent offense, it’s still a firearms charge– an enhancement– but he didn’t use it,” said Obama, “He’s now 48 or 38, 20 years later, and has an unblemished prison record, has gone back to school, got his GED, has gone through drug treatment, has the support of the original judge that presided, the support of the U.S. Attorney that charged him, support of the warden, has a family that loves him and in that situation, the fact that he had 20 years earlier an enhancement because he had firearm is different from a situation where he had an armed robbery and shot somebody.”
The President elaborated that his emphasis was on people who were overcharged and did not have a propensity for violence.
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